HARARE – Bikita South legislator Energy Mutodi has moved a motion asking the house to put together a team of MPs whose task shall be to visit Washington to physically lobby the US Congress to remove sanctions imposed on the country over two decades ago.
The US sanctions, operationalised through enactment of the controversial Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) back in 2001, were imposed on the back of rampant rights abuses and poll fraud under late former President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The measures include a travel ban on targeted Zimbabwean authorities who include some command elements within the country’s security services, coupled with a trade embargo between US and local firms.
They have remained in force since the time despite persistent calls by the Zimbabwean government helped by its African allies to scrap them unconditionally.
Supporting his motion in parliament on Thursday, Mutodi said a high-powered delegation comprising legislators would put weight behind the call for sanctions removal.
“Now, therefore, resolves that, a delegation from Zimbabwe Parliament be sent to the United States of America to present a briefing paper to the President of the United States of America and Congress requesting their administration to expeditiously and unconditionally repeal ZIDERA which has caused so much suffering to ordinary citizens of our country;
“The delegation engages the United States of America Congress to lift the unwarranted and illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe presents its case to the United Nations by the end
of December, 2024 so that these illegal sanctions imposed on our country are unconditionally lifted once and for all; and The United States of America Government to engage with the Zimbabwean government on terms that promote mutual benefit through economic and political cooperation, put and agreed to.
“I have no doubt that the presence of the high-powered delegation from the parliament of Zimbabwe will be of great impact as it will allow the inauguration or commencement of effective engagement between the Parliament of Zimbabwe and Congress,” said Mutodi.
He urged parliament to expeditiously select members to form the delegation to Washington.
“Those selected will have the passion and the capacity to persuade the United States of America Congress to help the people of Zimbabwe by unconditionally removing the cohesive and restrictive measures spelt out in ZIDERA,” Mutodi said.
The Zimbabwean government continues to blame the country’s economic woes on sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies.
Authorities claim the sanctions have caused Zimbabwe over US$100 billion in terms of economic losses since they were imposed.
The US government has however set conditions for Zimbabwe to comply with before the measures can be scrapped.
They include poll reforms by the Ememrson Mnangagwa government and a stop to the persecution of political opponents. – ZimLive